Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scaly gem discovered in South American cloudforests

Date:
May 21, 2014
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
Ecuadorian scientists have discovered a gem-looking new species of shade lizard in cloudforests of northwestern Ecuador. DNA data suggest that the closest relative of the new species is a widespread species living along the Pacific lowlands in Ecuador and Colombia.

This is a live male of the new species of shade lizard, Alopoglossus viridiceps. Its body length is about 2 inches.
Credit: Torres-Carvajal; CC-BY 4.0

Field and laboratory work by Omar Torres-Carvajal from Museo de Zoología QCAZ, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, and his former undergraduate student Simón Lobos has resulted in the discovery of a gem-looking new species of shade lizard from the cloudforests in northwestern Ecuador. This region is part of the 274,597 km2 Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena hotspot that lies west of the Andes. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

Shade lizards (genus Alopoglossus) are widely distributed across tropical South America. They differ from most other lizards in having their tongues covered by folds instead of scale-like papillae. Shade lizards are generally brown leaf-litter dwellers that live on both sides of the tropical Andes. The unusually brightly coloured new species described by Torres-Carvajal and Lobos was named Alopoglossus viridiceps and increases to seven the number of species of this group of lizards, six of which live in Ecuador.

Lizards collected as far back as 1977 and deposited in Museo de Zoología QCAZ were examined. The authors were soon surprised with an interesting finding. Some individuals collected during the last five years, mostly at the Santa Lucía Cloud Forest Reserve in northwestern Ecuador, had a metallic greenish head and an orange belly.

Other features like numbers of scales, as well as DNA evidence, indicated that these cloudforest lizards actually belong to a new species. DNA data also suggest that its closest relative is Alopoglossus festae, a species that inhabits the Pacific lowlands of Colombia and Ecuador.

'Simón Lobos and I have been working on shade lizards since 2010, and we have preliminary data suggesting that the widespread Pacific shade lizard, Alopoglossus festae, might actually represent several species new to science. The same pattern of "hidden diversity" applies to the Amazonian species. Therefore, the diversity of shade lizards has been underestimated. We are presently working on papers to share these discoveries with the scientific community' said Dr. Torres-Carvajal.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Omar Torres-Carvajal, Simón Lobos. A new species of Alopoglossus lizard (Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae) from the tropical Andes, with a molecular phylogeny of the genus. ZooKeys, 2014; 410: 105 DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.410.7401

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "Scaly gem discovered in South American cloudforests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521101959.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2014, May 21). Scaly gem discovered in South American cloudforests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521101959.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "Scaly gem discovered in South American cloudforests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521101959.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Ancient Wine Cellar Found In Israel

Huge Ancient Wine Cellar Found In Israel

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — An international team uncovered a large ancient wine celler that likely belonged to a Cannonite ruler. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins